One Student’s Story through Teacher Training
Knowledge – Blossoming Wisdom
The arrival of Module 7 is a benchmark as it represents deepening into the role of teacher- diving into the application of all that we have been studying and exploring for the last seven months.
The weekend kicked off immediately with each of us having the opportunity (perhaps, better said, the requirement) to teach a warm up and a pose to the whole group. I was amazed about how nervous I got… remember, I have been teaching regularly 3-4 classes per week for 8+ years! And yet, standing in front of this group of my classmates, I was whittled down to a trembling bag of bones and muscles. It probably didn’t appear that extreme to my classmates, it was just a surprise to me how worked up I got. It was the first time that I was teaching to my teacher trainers and peers who in this case knew how I was “supposed” to do it. In the years that I have been teaching, there has been a very gradual development of my personal style and in that process, also a tweaking and experimentation with the concepts taken from my original training. I see this as learning the rules first so that then you can break them, and in actuality, integrating the rules with your own unique gifts and interests. In this training, I have committed to stepping back and learning/experiencing the YogaMotion style, and am thankful for it. Nancy provides a solid foundation, influenced by so many styles and traditions.
With regards to asana this weekend, there was an exposure to inversions and a wonderful practice from a visiting Iyengar instructor (Brad? I didn’t get his last name!) I felt gratitude that we were able to experience this form of yoga with someone who was so delighted to be sharing it with us. I appreciate being exposed to folks who have so clearly dedicated themselves to a path, but have seemed to resist becoming rigid and dictatorial. He shared with us feeling of pure passion and fluidity that was infectious. Additionally this month, we began our personal investigation into the business of yoga. In this arena, I am very appreciative of being pushed. The tools we are being given can be used over and over as we constantly work to clarify our visions. I am strangely looking forward to much of the homestudy this month as we engage in the work/process of how we can turn a passion into a profession.
By focusing so much on personal development throughout the training so far, I sense that we will be more firmly rooted as teachers. With hindsight, up until this experience, I had roots, but they were flimsy and not very deep. But now there is expansion of my roots into tradition, into a community, into a lineage, into knowledge. The earth, the roots, and the trunk are shared experience and wisdom of my classmates and teachers and their teachers. And now, we are challenged to grow the branches, the leaves, and the blooms of our unique gifts as related to teaching and sharing yoga.
I feel like I have been balancing on this precipice of “putting myself out there” for quite some time. The training is mirroring this, and much of the homestudy is working to prod me right over this edge that I have been peering over for way too long. We are being given wonderful tools for clarifying who we want to teach to and in what setting. Even still, I feel myself digging my toenails into that precipice so I don’t have to take the leap! So I am thankful that we are nearing the end of this training, and also simultaneously thrilled that it is not over yet. Knowing this, I can continue to create that specific vision of what I am leaping into, making it a reality.
Karen Stenseth, N.D., CYT